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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I Didn’t March Yesterday

And…  Here we go…

Up until about a week ago, I had every intention to march.  I had every intention to go to Washington, D.C. to march.  I really wanted to be a part of this, primarily because I am a woman who believes in the equal rights of women, I know what it is to work and live life in a male dominated field (truth: most of the time it’s great, but sometimes it isn’t), I am raising two spit-fire daughters whom I hope will be stronger than me as they grow up, and I am also raising three sons who understand what it is to love and respect women and to advocate for equality.  Just a note…  Sometimes I think we forget how important our sons are in this whole mess.

At any rate, I knew we had a family schedule conflict yesterday, but I was still pretty sure I was going to march.

Originally, I had a ride to D.C., but that fell through when my friend and her family came upon a truly unavoidable scheduling issue.  She didn’t march, because she needed to be somewhere else, making the choice that was the very best for her family and life.  That’s sort of what this is about, right?

Plane tickets kept escalating, because, of course, inauguration weekend is not a cheap time to fly to D.C.

I thought I would just drive, but I really didn’t want to go alone.  It’s not that I couldn’t go alone.  The trip is about 550 miles (each way) for me, and I drive long distances alone, rather frequently, but I felt as if this particular trip required community.  On short notice, I just couldn’t find anybody who could make it work.

Now, here’s where I legitimately messed up…

Somehow, until I scanned my FB newsfeed yesterday afternoon, I didn’t realize there were several opportunities to march closer to home.  Had I known this, my day might have looked differently.

It might have, but there was one thing about the march that started to irritate me a little bit as it drew near.  It seems that in the days leading up to the march, one pro-life women’s organization was excluded from official partnership, simply because they are pro-life.  And here’s where I get in trouble with everyone… again.

About a year ago, I wrote a piece describing how very pro-life I am.  It can be found here, and I would highly suggest you read it… actually, I beg you to read it… if my being pro-life is offensive to you in any way.  Although we may not agree when you finish reading, I do think we can live with one another and maybe still be friends.

Even though I am vehemently feminist, I can’t stand on a pro-choice platform.  I can march side by side with my many friends, relatives, acquaintances, and colleagues who stand on a pro-choice platform, but my choice… every time… is life.  I need that to be clear, but I am concerned that this point may have been a little muddled yesterday.

I can’t tell you how happy it made my heart to see pictures of my friends and their children marching for equality all over the country.  Many beautiful words were penned, and I tried to ‘like’ all of them… until my FB app stopped working right.  But my heart sank a little bit at the thought that I don’t count, simply because of the different values I hold on one issue.  May I express to you how very difficult it is when you don’t fit neatly into any one camp?  It’s ironic, really, because these are the people for whom we’re supposed to advocate, right?  And yet…

Well, wouldn’t you know it, there are a few words from Scripture that seem to speak to this:    

I Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought” (NIV).

This is a hard teaching, maybe especially right now.  I don’t think Paul is actually suggesting that we become like the aliens in “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command” and submit to the ‘unimind.’  We’re going to have differing views on a plethora of issues, and I want to be exceptionally clear that I think it is completely appropriate for all of us to protest peacefully and certainly to step in passionately to defend the marginalized!  But could we maybe, just maybe, begin by agreeing to offer love and hope at all costs?  Don’t we all want that?  I’m going to choose to believe that we do.

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